Scope concerned by reported relaxation of assisted suicide guidance

Disability charity Scope has voiced concern at reports that the Director of Public Prosecutions has "relaxed" guidance on assisted suicide.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has stated that in cases of assisted suicide, the likelihood of health care professionals being prosecuted depends on their "specific and professional duty of care to the person in question."

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope comments:

“Many disabled people will be very concerned by the reported decision to relax the guidance on assisted suicide.

If you are disabled, you all too often face the view that it’s not worth being alive, and that you’re a burden.

The ban on assisted suicide sends a really powerful messaging countering this view.

It has provided crucial protection to any person who feels under pressure to end their life.

Many disabled people will be worried by any steps that undermine this.”

Scope's recent research shows that the majority of disabled people believe the current ban on assisted suicide protects vulnerable people from pressure to end their lives.

In the poll of 1,005 disabled adults, twice as many disabled people said they would be concerned by a change in the law (64%) as those who would not (36%).

Notes to the editor:

For more information call Pasca Lane in the Scope press office on 020 7619 7701 or email pasca.lane@scope.org.uk.

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